Srikant Ramaswami|Jul 6, 2017

The Wall Street Journal recently published an entire section dedicated to health-care technology. In fact, the very first article in this technology-inspired literary phalanx touts the advances in apps that can help manage chronic diseases. WSJ states that hospitals and doctors have identified digital tools that can assist patients in dealing with a variety of ailments including diabetes, heart and lung disease.

Yes, we are living in different times. Apps help inform us of every aspect of our lives – from how we sleep to what we eat to how many calories we burn. Digital medicine is transcending all boundaries, and the impact is having real-life consequences for millions of patients seeking better health outcomes.

One day soon, diabetics will be able to read their sugar levels without having to prick a finger; smartphones will gather health data and create new dimensions in personalized medicine; robots will deliver surgical precision that was unheard of in the operating room.

Despite these advances, it’s important for the manufacturers of these technological marvels to always consider the global aspects of what they are selling.

Patients should have the ability to use apps in a multitude of languages. Digital and other technologies must be interconnected in a world that is flat and where medical tourism is increasing. After all, every healthcare company talks about “unmet needs” in healthcare and wants to create a world where patients everywhere can be cured.

My Mother’s Story

The issue of global applications to technology is deeply personal for me. Let me explain.

A few months ago, my mother had a fall in the kitchen. She passed out for a second and then regained consciousness. I rushed her to urgent care and was pleased to find that she had not broken any ribs or injured herself. Regardless, I took her to a superb cardiologist at a world-renowned hospital to render a diagnosis.

Her CT-angiogram was normal, but the EKG showed cause for concern. The issue wasn’t really about blockage or stenting, but about conduction. Electrophysiologists will tell you that when current passing from the top to the bottom of the heart gets impacted, a pacemaker may be required to correct the irregularity.

Because even one incident of syncope is cause for concern, her cardiologist recommended that my mother have a heart monitor inserted under the skin in her chest so they could monitor her heart remotely and raise a flag if they saw evidence that necessitated the insertion of a pacemaker.

Her procedure was set and everything, ceteris paribus, was “a go.”

It’s only then that my mother asked a very astute question. She is a global citizen and often travels to India for the winter months. She therefore wanted to know if her heart link monitor would work when she is overseas.

I called her cardiologist’s assistant to find out, and the assistant was fairly convinced that it would not work. However, she told me that she would check with the makers of this link and get back to me.

After a few hours had passed, the assistant called with good news. My mother’s link would work in India, but she would need to have it adjusted before she left. Apparently, as long as a patient with this type of heart link is in a city with a cell phone tower, the link is able to transfer data from anywhere in the world.

Walking The Talk

Whether it comes to healthcare or any other industry, we know that 93 percent of customers would pay more for a product or service from a company that puts their needs first. This is especially important in today’s world where all companies need to think and act globally.

Being a multinational is not enough. Walking the talk is critical if you are to be relevant to your consumers in any and every part of the world. It’s important to consider the mobility of the technology you are selling, take into account any language considerations and ensure that the instrument that is to be powered has dual voltage capabilities, among other things. It sounds simple and routine, but it isn’t.

If you put your customers first, create emotional connections, innovate and communicate with soul, then you are a Breakout Brand, ready to grow your bottom line. Breakout Brands don’t focus on the competition; they focus on putting the customer first.

History has taught us that this connectivity builds trust, strengthens a company’s bond with its customer, and makes good business sense.


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